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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jan 21, 2014 8:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: PSA from Aaron Swartz and the Internet Archive

The Internet’s Own Boy: Film on Aaron Swartz Captures Late Activist’s Struggle for Online Freedom

Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez...

Jan 21, 2014 - AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Park City TV in Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival, the largest festival for independent cinema in the United States. This is our fifth year covering some of the films here, and the people and topics they explore.

Today, we spend the hour with the people involved in an incredible documentary that just had its world premiere here yesterday. It’s called The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. It comes as Aaron’s loved ones and friends mark the first anniversary of his death. It was just over a year ago, on January 11th, 2013, that the young Internet freedom activist took his own life. He was 26 years old.

One year ago this month, the young Internet freedom activist and groundbreaking programmer Aaron Swartz took his own life. Swartz died shortly before he was set to go to trial for downloading millions of academic articles from servers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on the belief that the articles should be freely available online. At the time he committed suicide, Swartz was facing 35 years in prison, a penalty supporters called excessively harsh. Today we spend the hour looking at the new documentary, "The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz." We play excerpts of the film and speak with Swartz’s father Robert, his brother Noah, his lawyer Elliot Peters, and filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.

AMY GOODMAN: Noah, what do you feel people can do to continue Aaron’s legacy?

NOAH SWARTZ: I feel that in the film and in one of the clips I think we played on the show, Aaron says, "I’m here to tell you — you may feel powerless, but I’m here to tell you: You are powerful." And with the work that I’m trying to do with these hackathons, a lot of people are and have been justifiably upset recently with Snowden’s revelations, with WikiLeaks, with all these things that they’re learning about how the world works. And I think Aaron’s message that we can all take on with us is that there are things we can do about this. We can actually have an impact, and we can — we can see the change we want to see in the world by participating, rather than feeling helpless and useless. And so, watching the documentary, I see Aaron, but I also see all the work that he did and all the work that I could be doing and all of us could be doing. And I think that’s the most important message to take out.

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The Internet’s Own Boy: Film on Aaron Swartz Captures Late Activist’s Struggle for Online Freedom

This post was modified by Monte B Cowboy on 2014-01-21 16:51:05